Arla “turns off” semi-skimmed milk

Read time:
3 min
20 March 2009
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Swedish semi-skimmed milk cartons are set to change their look for one week. Arla is supporting the World Wildlife Fund's climate change initiative, Earth Hour, set to encourage consumers to turn off their lights and remind world leaders of the need to take bold decisions in support of the environment.

No other Swedish media has the same impact as the so-called "panels" on the back of Arla's milk cartons. Each one is read by around five million consumers and enjoys a high level of credibility. Last year, when we began to collaborate with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on initiatives to promote a better environment, it was agreed that using the "panels" could help spread a valuable message. Arla will now be using the panels in an innovative way.

For one week leading up to the environmental initiative, Earth Hour, on 28th March, the milk cartons will have an entirely different look – in fact they will be black - to symbolise the worldwide event. As a result, no-one walking down a supermarket aisle during that week will be unaware of what Earth Hour is all about.

Risky move
"Together with our advertising agency, Milk, we're letting the message from the back of our milk cartons permeate through the whole packaging," explains Martina Swedmark, who edits the panels. "We’re simply turning off skimmed milk. It’s a risky move but we hope it will engage our readers and consumers because we can all make a difference to the environment and our future."

Earth Hour is an initiative from the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, where everyone can take part for one hour. By turning off all electric lights on Saturday 28 March from 20.30-21.30, people will demonstrate their commitment to doing something for nature and the environment. The goal is to create awareness of climate issues and appeal to world leaders to solve the planet's climate problems.

Logical for us to be involved in the Earth Hour
Martina Swedmark adds that because Arla cares for animals and nature, it's logical for us to be involved in the Earth Hour initiative and assist WWF in spreading the message across Sweden. Moreover, lights in all Arla premises will be turned off for the Earth Hour in a show of support for the event.

"This is a good, fun initiative which will create a real impact," says Mariann Eriksson, who is responsible for communication at the World Wildlife Fund. "We’re very pleased to be working with Arla because Arla shows real commitment to climate issues, the environment and animal welfare. We would be delighted to explore other ideas with them."

So keep a look out for the products - and remember to turn off your lights!

Check out and read more.

What is Earth Hour?
Earth Hour kicked off in Australia on 31 March, 2007 when more than two million people and 2,000 businesses in Sydney turned off their lights for 60 minutes. The aim is to create an awareness of climate change issues and send a strong signal to the world's decision-makers and call for bold action on the environment. Since its humble beginnings, Earth Hour has spread across the globe. For Earth Hour 2008, more than 50 million people in more than 35 countries worldwide followed the call to turn off their lights for one hour. This year, the organisers are expecting more than one billion people to take part in many large cities like Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Mexico City. Earth Hour sees itself as a precursor to the climate summit in Copenhagen in December, when the world's countries will gather to negotiate a climate agreement.

What you can do for Earth Hour 2009:

  • Turn off your lights, light some candles and enjoy a quiet hour with your family or by yourself.
  • Invite your friends to a "dark party". Enjoy a few quizzes and environmental-friendly food with minimum impact on the environment. For recipes, go to (in swedish only)
  • Find out if there are large buildings in your town that plan to turn off their lights. Find a vantage point to watch or spend the hour walking - enjoying the stars.

Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,700 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.

Press contact

Arla Group Press Office
Arla Group Press Office (journalists/media only) +4591310310
Åse Andersson
Åse Andersson Head of Media Press contact for Arla Foods in Denmark +45 91 310 310 +45 89 38 10 00
Carina Østergaard
Carina Østergaard Corporate Communication Manager Press contact for Arla Foods International +45 91 31 16 01 +45 89 38 10 00